Protect Yourself Against Liability Risks That Riders Bring To Your Business

In Ontario when you’re instructing riders of any age and all experience levels, the exposure to liability is quite high. Accidents can happen, especially in an atmosphere where both the rider and horse are being presented with new experiences. That means that there is a chance that you can have a claim against you, or worse yet, be sued.

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • The insurance you need if you’re an independent contractor
  • Common claims that people make horse instructors and coaches
  • How you can plan ahead
  • The coverage offered by a Commercial General Liability Policy
  • Other types of insurance you should consider

What If I’m An Independent Contractor?

If you travel to different stables that you don’t own, you should find out more about the Independent Contractor Horse Riding Instructor – Training Liability Insurance. That insurance will be more applicable than Horse Instruction & Coaching insurance.

What Are The Most Common Claim Incidents?

  • Your student or a handler gets hurt during the instruction period. With inexperienced riders pushing their limits and the horse’s, the horse can react unpredictably and buck or stop unexpectedly causing the rider to fall. Common injuries include broken arms, injured tailbones or backs, broken or bruised ribs, shoulder injuries and in worst cases, head injuries.
  • While learning something new during a training session the horse becomes injured or dies. Often horses act unpredictably in a strange environment or while an instructor is preparing or riding the horse for demonstration or assessment.
  • A horse you’re training gets loose and runs into traffic and causes an accident.

How Can I Plan Ahead?

We know that you care about the horses and the people that come to your farm. There are steps to take to make sure that an accident never happens in the first place.

  1. Enforce barn rules
    Look around and develop rules for your environment for both horses and people. Also write procedures. Then train every staff member to make sure they understand your rules and procedures.
  2. Plan for emergencies
    Emergencies happen, but the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of providing the proper care to all the horses. If you’re prepared you can minimize the severity of any accident.
  3. Develop semi-annual inspections of your property
    By inspecting your premises for potential hazards, you can take care of them before an incident occurs.
  4. Prepare a written waiver and review Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act
    Anyone who participates in any horse activities on your premises needs to complete and sign the waiver. Make sure that you keep the signed forms on file and safely stored. The Occupiers’ Liability Act states that the stable owner/operator owes a duty of care to the people who enter their premises. This assures that any property they bring on your premises with them is also reasonably safe. You are free to restrict, modify or exclude this duty of care through your written waiver.
  5. Follow Ontario’s Horse Riding Safety Act
    This legislation states that it’s mandatory that anyone under the age of 18 years of age must wear a helmet that meets ASTM, BSI or European Safety Standards and hard-soled footwear with a heel of no less than 1.5 cm.
  6. Purchase an Equine Liability Insurance Policy
    Protect you and your business with an insurance company that knows horses and your business. You want to make sure that any legal feels are covered, claim costs and settlements to ensure that in the case of an accident, your business doesn’t suffer a financial loss.

What’s Included In The Commercial General Liability Policy?

The policy gives you maximum limits or amounts of liability insurance for:

  • Medical expenses: You can be sure a claimant’s low cost medical expenses are covered without a lot of questions about liability or responsibility.
  • Legal defense costs: You can save your business the financial burden of court costs if you’re sued, whether the case has merit or not.
  • Claims or settlement costs: Without this policy you could be held responsible for bodily injury and property damage claims.

Are There Other Coverages I Should Consider?

  • Equine Professional Liability: If you’re a qualified instructor or trainer you want to make sure to protect your livelihood. The more you’re seen as an expert in public, the higher your exposure. Add this endorsement to your general liability policy for a small premium charge.
  • Care, Custody & Control Liability: This policy will protect you and other trainers that work for you from expenditures for loss, illness or injury that happen to a horse in your care. It is an optional coverage with a separate small premium charge.
  • Horse Mortality and Major Medical: If you’re leasing the horse, you are considered it’s temporary owner. Make sure that you protect yourself from liability should the horse die or become injured or sick during your lease period.

At Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd., we share your love of horses. Contact us today and we’ll make sure that we protect you and your livelihood. Or click on Get a Free Quote for an obligation-free quote.